RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 146,973
Posts: 5,799,243
Members: 26,056
Currently online: 523
Newest member: Kinectech

TrekToday headlines

Pine To Star In Wonder Woman
By: T'Bonz on Jul 29

Pegg Teases Elba Character
By: T'Bonz on Jul 29

5th Passenger Teaser Trailer
By: T'Bonz on Jul 28

Star Trek: Renegades Los Angeles Debut
By: T'Bonz on Jul 28

Shatner Show Coming To Australia
By: T'Bonz on Jul 27

Star Trek Beyond Wigs
By: T'Bonz on Jul 27

Star Trek Beyond Adds New Cast Member
By: T'Bonz on Jul 27

Pegg: No Game Of Thrones
By: T'Bonz on Jul 24

Stewart Snotbot Support
By: T'Bonz on Jul 24

Ryan Joins Arrow
By: T'Bonz on Jul 24


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Literature

Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 31 2014, 03:17 AM   #1
cal888
Lieutenant Commander
 
Location: Californian living in Santa Catarina, Brazil
Revisiting the Golden VGR Relaunch + Full Circle

I guess I'm a long time off/and/on lurker on this board and its predecessors on AOL and Psi Phi. For about the last five years the only Star Trek books I've stayed up to date with were New Frontier, Vanguard, and Mirror Universe.

I originally had very negative experiences with the initial SCE eBooks' DRM and for several years refused to buy any more until I both acquired a Kindle and ended up living outside the US for several years. Boxes of books in a storage unit are useless a continent away.

Last week I was faced with a 12 hour bus ride when there were no award flights available (ie using air miles) and the normal seats were going for very high prices. Perfect use for an eBook or two to kill the time on a bus... especially ones I'd been putting off reading.

When Homecoming and The Farther Shore were released in 2003, I was very... underwhelmed. For some reason the preview in the "Endgame" novelization come off a lot better than the finished product. I even ended up skipping the B'Elanna/Boreth sections of the book on no-more-Klingon-honor-mysticism grounds. I bought the Spirit Walk duology and made it maybe 1/3 of the way into Old Wounds before I just gave up and set it aside. I had liked Christie Golden's earlier books, so just wasn't sure what had gone wrong.

I since read Before Dishonor, so I knew all about ~that~. I'm a Peter David fan (and especially appreciate how well he captures the 1990's feel of the 24th century series instead of trying to be revisionist about everything), but also know PAD isn't a VGR fan and never felt he did the Janeway part of that book the justice it deserved. I'm honestly neutral on this controversy, but do understand why VGR fans felt singled out as, say, no one would kill off Picard in a random VGR book. Then the Kirsten Beyer books came out, received a lot of praise, and I wanted to get around to reading them... but kept procrastinating because I wanted to knock out the Golden books first.

So, I managed to start Homecoming and finally made it all the way to finishing The Eternal Tide a week and a half later. Particularly interesting to read Enemy of my Enemy and Full Circle back to back despite obviously the very long publication gap.

I started with very low expectations, but was surprised to agree with several of Golden's choices despite others still being pretty bad. Promoting Harry Kim to security? Libby as a SI agent? Another crazy admiral, this one wanting to be the Borg Queen of Earth? Bringing in Picard and Data? Icheb being ~beat up~ but his Academy cadet friends? The whole holographic rights thing? Just one phrase about the Equinox survivors (granted the series had abandoned that one)? Having many Starfleet officers resenting Voyager missing the Dominion War and constantly bringing it up, despite it being over by 2 years at that point -- then go all "post 9/11" on Seven and Icheb?

Actually, I guess aside from some of the character moments my opinion of these two books still stands as fairly negative and very bad for all the lost opportunities. But... I thought Jarem Kaz was a very good character. I know Trills have been overexposed, but he was a cool way to bridge the Maquis with the present, without specifically being a former Maquis.

I guess what really surprised me was the Spirit Walk duology. I mean, it's nothing great, and only average at its best. It gets way too spiritual, and many things are retreads. But there are several good ideas here. How were most of the Maquis massacred? What happeend to Dorvan V during the Dominion War? How would Chakotay interact with Starfleet?

I really liked how Golden showed that after 7 years, the real divide on Voyager now was between the people who had been lost in the Delta Quadrant and the new crew members, not Starfleet and former Maquis. But again, this could have been done without the whole "you missed the Dominion War and had a vacation in the DQ" thing. Golden did find something for Janeway to do as an admiral using her skillset she developed in the DQ. Crell Moset was already done in the Battle of Betazed, but he was an Alpha Quadrant character on VGR so justifiably worth bringing back. And, yes, the Changeling is again overwarmed leftovers, but, at least it does provide Chakotay with a great antagonist related to both Dorvan V and the Maquis massacre. Dorvan V's inhabitants having Sky Spirit DNA is again something that would interest someone.

But, the whole medical horror experiments thing is over the top. Counselor Ashtall just... doesn't work, and Devi Patel is never developed beyond just a character description. Jarem Kaz and Lyssa Campbell are both great, but I'll leave this one for the Full Circle comments.

Then, the duology ends with the Changeling on the loose and B'Elanna still on bloody Boreth dealing with the Klingon thing -- which is a worthy continuation of the kuvah'magh plot thread, but again Klingons have really been done to death.

Whatever Golden planned next never happens. Janeway gets off-ed in Before Dishonor (hmm, it would have actually been much better to kill Janeway off in the climax of Destiny instead, but that isn't for this thread). VGR proper is abandoned for years.

Eventually this mess needed to be fixed by someone. Enter Kirsten Beyer. When this choice was announced in 2008ish, I was underwhelmed. I'd never been able to finish her second book in the String Theory trilogy and just vaguely remember how it completely destroyed the Nacene (a lost opportunity for a much closer interpretation linked to what the series actually established), going in a completely different direction than necessary and having pages and pages of techno-babble. But her re-relaunch got rave reviews so I wanted to read it -- eventually.

5 years later I finally did. She had a very tough mandate to fill -- resolve the Golden story threads, account for Janeway's death, and have everything come... full circle by the end to where Marco wanted to take VGR. In John Ordover's day this may have been one trilogy -- or two, perhaps also tying into that year's mega series crossover. Instead Beyer has just one book, and one that clearly set off to be at least a duology yet was placed on a massive diet.

Beyer goes tripple down on the Klingon storyline while mostly handwaving the Changeling storyline away. The Klingon part actually works pretty well until B'Elanna decides to fake her and Miral's death, go into hiding, and tell none of her friends or family about it for years -- because there is one ship of crazy Klingons out there wanting to kill them. (Could a less heavy handed way been found to get B'Elanna to the DQ? Probably. Then a great chunk of Unworthy wouldn't have needed to be dedicated to fixing this one.) Chakotay suddenly has no interest in the Changeling despite the moon massacre storyline. Sure he would prioritize B'Elanna, but him suddenly losing total interest in that one is also problematic. Libby is quickly shoved away. Seven and the Doctor replay their Think Tank roles from Spirit Walk.

Again, this whole situation is a mess. With all the constraints present, Beyer makes the best of a bad situation. But, maybe the almost over the top Golden character culling to bring in her own new people goes to far.

I can see why she boots Ashtall of the ship faster than a David E Kelley show writes off a regular between seasons. Her replacement is amazing (more on that in a bit). Akolo Tare... well considering her only plot thread from the past 4 books, I can see why she was just killed off since that would be a mess to take on since the holorights thing is wisely getting some distance.

But I think Lyssa Campbell and Jarem Kaz should have been kept. I know Lyssa was Golden's main recurring character from her "during the series" books. But she is also the only "new" character in the relaunch to have actually been on Voyager in the DQ. With rather senseless death, the ship is now down to the only remaining main cast characters. Having an extra character who had been on the ship the whole time would have been very beneficial to future storylines -- and given us a new perspective on how past events were impacting the present. Instead it just feels like with the exception of the main cast, everyone else on the ship is now new with Vorik booted off too. A lost opportunity.

Sure, Jarem Kaz is a Trill, with basically a VGR Maquis spin on Ezri Dax. But, again, he was a good character, had experience interacting with the VGR crew since they returned, plus brought in a Maquis link that has always been part of VGR's DNA. Now that how angle has been closed off, and Cambridge basically takes over many of the things he was doing. I can see why Beyer wanted to bring in a Tamarian, but Kaz could have easily been sent over to the Galen medical ship instead of being killed off. Instead the only Golden character left standing is a cipher she introduced but never developed.

Cambridge though, amazing character, even though the "he's played by Hugh Laurie" bits may be too heavy handed. Great source of conflict, and the archeology angle gives him much more to do. Definitely the breakout character of the re-relaunch.

Then Chakotay pisses Starfleet off enough at the end of the Klingon storyline to be sentenced to almost 2 years of busywork allowing for a time jump to Destiny.

Okay, now we get to the really good parts of Full Circle. Amazing character development of Chakotay, even though I did wonder where his sister from the last books was during all of this. J/C... no objection. Seven and The Doctor both come out of their Think Tank funk. The idea of returning to the DQ with slipstream and a fleet... wow. Eden and Batiste, ehh, but decent.

So, from a very problematic beginning to something pretty amazing, albeit with some reservations.

Then things really take off from there

Last edited by cal888; December 31 2014 at 05:22 AM.
cal888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 1 2015, 02:42 AM   #2
borgboy
Fleet Captain
 
borgboy's Avatar
 
Re: Revisiting the Golden VGR Relaunch + Full Circle

I do agree that Kaz was an interesting character who still had potential. He was the one thing from Golden's relaunch I'd have kept.

In Peter David's defense, Janeway's death was an editorial decision, and he killed her in such a way as to leave the door wide open for her return. The way he wrote it I never really thought of Janeway as dead, just away.
__________________
Resistance is futile
borgboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 5 2015, 05:57 AM   #3
BritishSeaPower
Captain
 
BritishSeaPower's Avatar
 
Location: New Jersey
View BritishSeaPower's Twitter Profile
Re: Revisiting the Golden VGR Relaunch + Full Circle

I despise Cambridge and was mad that they dumped Kaz, as he was a really neat character.
__________________
"I love humans. Always seeing patterns in things that aren't there." - The Eighth Doctor
BritishSeaPower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 5 2015, 08:01 PM   #4
Paris
Commodore
 
Paris's Avatar
 
Location: In the future's past
Re: Revisiting the Golden VGR Relaunch + Full Circle

I was also a Kaz fan, but Cambridge is one of my absolute favorite lit-created characters. Kirsten made him so perfectly. He's one of the main reasons why her run has been amazing. Her characters come to life with each novel
__________________
"I don't use plot to serve continuity porn, I use continuity porn to serve plot." - Christopher L. Bennett July 2, 2013
Paris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 6 2015, 02:08 AM   #5
laibcoms
Lieutenant Junior Grade
 
Location: Philippines, ASEAN
View laibcoms's Twitter Profile Send a message via ICQ to laibcoms Send a message via AIM to laibcoms Send a message via Windows Live Messenger to laibcoms Send a message via Yahoo to laibcoms
Re: Revisiting the Golden VGR Relaunch + Full Circle

Yep, and Cambridge is human after all. At first, he appeared to be high and mighty, but as we get to know him more, we find out how frail and human he is himself. Yet he still can do his job as a counselor.

I like his style too, direct to the point, and he's not a vulcan at all.
laibcoms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 6 2015, 05:29 AM   #6
Enterprise1701
Fleet Captain
 
Enterprise1701's Avatar
 
Location: Sol III, Sector 001, 2015 C.E.
Re: Revisiting the Golden VGR Relaunch + Full Circle

I dislike the whole B'Elanna and Klingon mysticism storyline across Golden and Beyer's novels. The concept of the episode "Barge of the Dead" was nonsensical, but lo and behold, B'Elanna and her mother really did experience a joint hallucination, something that makes no sense especially in sci-fi!
__________________
Freedom is the right of all sentient beings. - Optimus Prime
Enterprise1701 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 6 2015, 09:29 AM   #7
Markonian
Fleet Captain
 
Markonian's Avatar
 
Location: Cork, Ireland
Re: Revisiting the Golden VGR Relaunch + Full Circle

Enterprise1701 wrote: View Post
The concept of the episode "Barge of the Dead" was nonsensical, but lo and behold, B'Elanna and her mother really did experience a joint hallucination, something that makes no sense especially in sci-fi!
What is nonsenical in the episode? We had characters the Spirit world in earlier episodes, incl. Janeway. The episode left it ambiguous whether B'Elanna truly experienced an extradimensional realm or was hallucinating.

Concerning the joint hallucination - everything's possible in Sci-Fi. There are dozens of potential Sci-Fi explanations, like: both experienced a tangible extradimensional realm, Klingons have buried telepathic abilities like Human ESPers, alien influence, ...
__________________
1.000 years: University Leipzig, 1409-2409
Gorn to be wild!
Markonian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 6 2015, 12:03 PM   #8
Idran
Captain
 
Re: Revisiting the Golden VGR Relaunch + Full Circle

And beyond that, everything parapsychological - telekinesis, visions of the future, telepathy, ascending to higher realms of existence - is already non-scientific mysticism anyway if you're being strict about it, so what's the problem with introducing another aspect of that sort of thing? I mean, the only reason psychic phenomena feels like a sci fi concept nowadays is pure inertia at this point.
Idran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 6 2015, 02:30 PM   #9
roseake
Lieutenant Junior Grade
 
Location: UK
Re: Revisiting the Golden VGR Relaunch + Full Circle

I never read the Spirit Walk duology, I skipped straight from Further Shore to Full Circle and used Memory Beta to fill in the gaps. I think that helped lessen the confusion, as I didn't get to the loose ends that were left after Spirit Walk, and they aren't mentioned much, if at all.

To me, Golden's writing seems almost half-hearted compared to Beyer's - she's a very intense writer and a clear passion for the characters. I know she tried to write for the show while it was still airing, but never got any of her scripts read. But I don't know about Golden's Star Trek past.

Then again, they were both given very different tasks. Golden had to bring Voyager into the Alpha Quadrant for the first time, and deal with their arrival home; but Beyer had an entirely different set of circumstances to deal with, which no doubt influenced their writing.
__________________
~ roseake ~
roseake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 6 2015, 03:19 PM   #10
Paris
Commodore
 
Paris's Avatar
 
Location: In the future's past
Re: Revisiting the Golden VGR Relaunch + Full Circle

roseake wrote: View Post
...Then again, they were both given very different tasks. Golden had to bring Voyager into the Alpha Quadrant for the first time, and deal with their arrival home; but Beyer had an entirely different set of circumstances to deal with, which no doubt influenced their writing.
I would have loved to read Kirsten's take on Voyager first getting home. I was so excited for Golden's books, and liked them fine, but Kirsten would've probably done a much better job. If only
__________________
"I don't use plot to serve continuity porn, I use continuity porn to serve plot." - Christopher L. Bennett July 2, 2013
Paris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 9 2015, 06:19 PM   #11
flandry84
Captain
 
flandry84's Avatar
 
Location: Sunshine cottage,Lollipop lane,Latveria
Re: Revisiting the Golden VGR Relaunch + Full Circle

I always considered the way that Goldens new characters were "alpha flighted "to be rather callous to both the characters and Golden herself.


I have since given up on Voyager altogether,years of waiting for it to get better and well...it just doesn't.
__________________
Bah!

Last edited by flandry84; January 9 2015 at 09:37 PM.
flandry84 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 9 2015, 07:06 PM   #12
Stevil2001
Rear Admiral
 
Stevil2001's Avatar
 
Location: 2010
Re: Revisiting the Golden VGR Relaunch + Full Circle

I like the use of "alpha flighted" as a verb.
__________________
"I don't like adventure. I'm a stay-at-home-and-read kind of guy."
Science's Less Accurate Grandmother
Stevil2001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 9 2015, 08:24 PM   #13
BritishSeaPower
Captain
 
BritishSeaPower's Avatar
 
Location: New Jersey
View BritishSeaPower's Twitter Profile
Re: Revisiting the Golden VGR Relaunch + Full Circle

I think Homecoming isn't actually bad but there are some really skewed priorities in it. The Farther Shore was a rather big blow in terms of quality. I think the Spirit Walk books are readable, if they perhaps would have been better as a single story with less side trips. That said, Kirsten Beyer's work has opened me up to Voyager in a way Golden's novels never did. Character driven drama with an emphasis on what made Voyager unique as a show.

It is fair to say that Golden may have been given a raw deal in establishing an Alpha Quadrant Status quo for the characters which stripped them of their uniqueness a bit. As much as I enjoyed how much Full Circle undid everything, I did think the way in which Golden's quasi-Mary Sue was dispatched was perhaps a bit much.
__________________
"I love humans. Always seeing patterns in things that aren't there." - The Eighth Doctor
BritishSeaPower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 9 2015, 09:36 PM   #14
flandry84
Captain
 
flandry84's Avatar
 
Location: Sunshine cottage,Lollipop lane,Latveria
Re: Revisiting the Golden VGR Relaunch + Full Circle

Stevil2001 wrote: View Post
I like the use of "alpha flighted" as a verb.
Unfortunate is'nt it?
For those not in the know,the term refers to Marvel's team of Canadian superheroes.Bereft of ideas what to do with Alpha Flight and unwilling to give the a " happy ever after", Marvel seemingly had all the characters wiped out in one fell swoop( since retconned I believe).
__________________
Bah!
flandry84 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11 2015, 02:06 AM   #15
borgboy
Fleet Captain
 
borgboy's Avatar
 
Re: Revisiting the Golden VGR Relaunch + Full Circle

I don't give Golden a pass because she had to use the Voyager crew in the Alpha Quadrant, I think there were interesting stories to be told in that setting. I could see where maybe if the two two book arcs had been done as one book each the plot could've been tightened up. I've liked some of her other books, so I don't know what went wrong.
__________________
Resistance is futile
borgboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 01:14 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.